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THE GATHERING ‘Souvenirs’ Psychonaut Records (2003)

Now this is a pleasant surprise - a band that started life as an extreme metal band a la Celtic Frost and now play what they term ‘triprock’. But to my ears this is a mix of Karnataka, Mostly Autumn and the dark influence of the excellent Dead Can Dance! Vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen is the star here with her breathy, ethereal vocals that suit the subdued loops and guitars down to the ground.

Highlights? The entire album really but ‘Souvenirs’ features the most guitar mixed with loops and sampling. ‘Broken Glass’ is a mellow ballad - similar to Sinead O’Connor at her best. Best moment is when the guitars come crashing in on the chorus line - some fast soloing going on here. The eerie ‘Monsters’ throws all manner of weird and wonderful sounds into the mix.

Mind blowing music - just perfect for late night listening and the song structures are first class. If you want a change in your listening try this album - you won’t be disappointed. Certainly deserves as wider audience as possible.



Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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